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The influential left-wing blog Daily Kos has been running a series called “Flu and You” by health blogger DemFromCT, and this week’s installment features an interview with one of the reveres from Effect Measure, who often cross-post here. The whole thing is worth reading (as are the first and second parts of the series), but I wanted to highlight a couple of sections that echo back to the Progressive Public Health series that the reveres wrote last month as a call to the public health community to look critically at where we’re going.

First, here’s something about the difficulty of trying to organize in a school of public health (emphasis added):

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by revere cross-posted at Effect Measure

The Holiday Season is upon us so we won’t post daily on the Public Health Conversation series. But you can join in at any time, in two ways.  Effect Measure and The Pump Handle, the two blog sites hosting the discussion, have comment threads for each post.  You can make a comment at any time on any post.  If you want to see all the posts on this topic, just click the Progressive public health category on the left sidebar on Effect Measure.  We will put an appropriate tag on The Pump Handle posts as well.  If you have produced a more polished piece, send it by email to The Pump Handle. We will be posting some on the Front Page we think are especially pertinent to various points in the conversation.  Get your 15 minutes of fame!

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by revere, cross-posted at Effect Measure

A couple of ideas are floating around in the comment threads as part of an initial conversation about public health. I’m not surprised they seem to be on different topics and have the feel of talking past each other.  We are not used to discussing basic assumptions and have an immediate tendency to talk about what we know, what interests us particularly, what bothers us most or what is our particular preoccupation.  Many of those things turn out to be really important for public health and there are plenty of reasons for talking about them.

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by revere, cross-posted at Effect Measure

I’m (more than) pleased to say the public health conversation is starting. I assume it was already going on but not where we could all hear what others were saying. So let me continue by responding to a point raised at The Pump Handle (TPH) that was also the subject of offline discussion from someone who read the post. Liz and Catherine (at TPH) made special reference to this comment from me:

 

“If I am an ordinary person, I don’t want to have to think about public health. I want it to work well but in the background, like the water system.”

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by revere, cross-posted at Effect Measure

Yesterday Flu Wiki founding editor and DailyKos frontpager DemFromCT reviewed three recent report cards on public health, one each by the American Public Health Association (APHA), The Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the American College Of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). It was a great a service in two ways. The first is to remind us that “health reform” is hollow without making sure the public health infrastructure is sound. And second, he reviewed these reports so the rest of us don’t have to. Believe me, that’s a service in my eyes. My patience gets pretty short when I see these tomes, full of platitudes, generalities or special pleading from a public health establishment that has lost its way, its mission and its ability to think out of the box. Too many years in the wilderness, perhaps. I’m guilty, too. I’ve been carrying on for years (literally) that the way to prepare for a pandemic is to shore up the public health and social service infrastructure.Dem and others have gently pressed me for some specifics, but I have resisted, mainly because I am not completely sure what I mean. It’s hard to explain things you don’t understand yourself (although teachers do it all the time).

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